Weekend Recap for Jan. 30 & 31

Hey fans!  I hope everyone is surviving the snow storm we got yesterday and is digging themselves out of it.

On Friday, St. Thomas Stars hosted Strathroy Rockets.  I found this game to be rather boring, nothing super exciting happened.  The Stars grabbed a 2-1 win over the Rockets.  The Rockets loan goal came from speedy Nick Griffin on the penalty kill.  That was Griffin’s 6th shorthanded goal of the season and he now leads the GOJHL for most shorthanded goals.  Game story from David Honsberger.


By David Honsberger

A timely 2-1 win over the Strathroy Rockets by the St. Thomas Stars on Friday, January 30 at the Timkin Centre in St. Thomas has moved the young Star club into a sixth place tie with the London Nationals.

Both clubs are nipping at the Rockets’ heels. Both the Stars and the Nats now trail the Rockets by a narrow three points. The Rockets and the Stars will meet in the final game of the regular season in Strathroy later in February.

The Rockets and the Nationals still have two games remaining between them. They will tangle this Wednesday at the Western Fair before finishing off their regular season meetings in Strathroy on Valentine’s Day.

The Rockets’ drive to finish in the top four and earn home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs in diminishing quickly. They have won just one of their last five games. They trail the fourth place LaSalle Vipers by eight points but enjoy 2 games in hand on the Vipers and one game in hand on both the Stars and the Nationals.

The Vipers have been red-hot winning 9 of their last 10 games and 13 of their last 15. LaSalle has eyes on Sarnia. They trail the third place Legionnaires by just a single point. Sarnia does have two games in hand on the Vipers.

Friday at the Timkin Centre the Stars held a wide advantage in territorial play over the Rockets outshooting Strathroy 44-24. Once again only the strong goaltending of Rocket netminder Mat Ouellet kept the score close.

Ryan Valentini scored on a 2-on-1 opportunity after Rocket call-up Austin Blaze was beat on a poor pinch at the Star blueline at 12:34 of the opening period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.

Valentini has 6 goals and 10 points in 7 games after being sent down from the OHL London Knights.

The Stars held a 17-4 shot advantage in the first period. The 4 Rocket shots represent their lowest total in a single period this season.

With Rocket Kieran Milne off serving a tripping call, Rocket speedster Nick Griffin outraced three Stars down the ice and beat Star goaltender Brendan Polasek with a low shot to tie the game at 1-1 at 8:17 of the second period. It was Griffin’s sixth shorthanded goal of the season bringing him to within one of tying the Strathroy franchise rookie record of seven held by Jeff Campbell.

Griffin leads the entire GOJHL and in shorthanded markers this season.

Brett Van Dusen tallied the game winner at 17:09 of the third period when a diving Matt McJannet behind the Rocket goal centered the puck to Van Dusen. (photo)

The Rockets put in a more respectable second period outshooting the Stars 11-9. The Stars countered with a solid third period doubling up the Rockets in shots 18-9.

The loss dropped the Rockets’ record to just one game above .500.

Both clubs had four powerplay chances. Neither team scored.

The Rockets were without defenseman Matt Laberge (foot) and forwards Mark MacAulay and Danny Chapman (school). Carson Brookshaw was serving his second of a two-game suspension for the Stars.

The Stars are idle until next Friday when they host the Vipers while the Rockets will play Sarnia at the WMMC on Saturday, January 31.

The myFM Players of the Game were goaltenders Ouellet and Polasek.

The myFM Hardest Working Player was Rocket Nick Griffin.

The Entertainment Tonight Players of the Game for the Rockets were Ouellet, Griffin and Ocean Check.


Also on Friday, St. Marys Lincolns hosted Chatham Maroons.  The Maroons beat up on the Lincolns 10-3.  Story from Chatham Daily News.

Maroons rout Lincs for eighth straight win


ST. MARYS – The Chatham Maroons were so dominant Friday that at one point in the second period they had as many goals – six – as the St. Marys Lincolns had shots.

Michael Levesque, Trevor Richardson and Alexander Morgan each scored twice as the Maroons rolled to a 10-3 win before 250 fans at the Pyramid Recreation Centre.

The Maroons led 7-0 midway through the second period in a matchup of the hottest and coldest teams in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

The Maroons have won eight in a row, while the Lincolns have lost 24 straight.

“We’ve played them three times in the last couple weeks,” Maroons head coach Tyler Roeszler said. “Each time we took the approach that two points were on the line and we were going to prepare and approach it like we do any team.”

Rookie defenceman Levi Tetrault scored his first career goal late in the third period. He ripped a slapshot past Lincolns netminder Tyler Beattie for the Maroons’ 10th of the night.

“We’ve been trying to get him his first one for awhile,” Roeszler said. “He’s been playing great.”

Tetrault scored on a power play as the Maroons took advantage of the lopsided score to use players in new roles.

“We played really well,” Roeszler said. “It was good to see different guys get some opportunities in different situations.”

Mark Fratarcangeli had one goal and three assists, Jared Dennis extended his goal streak to seven games and Brennan Feasey also scored.

Carl Stapleton had three assists and Connor Doran added two.

Gus Ford sat out with a hip injury suffered in Thursday’s win over the Lambton Shores Predators. He’s expected back for the Maroons’ next game Wednesday in LaSalle.

Bo Bessette made 19 saves for his fourth straight win. The Maroons fired 50 shots at Beattie.

Sean O’Brien, Nick Whitworth and Brent House scored for the Lincolns.

The Maroons improved to 28-11-2. They’re second in the Western Conference with 58 points, 10 behind the Leamington Flyers.

The Maroons outshot the Lincolns 20-4 in the first period for a 4-0 lead. They were up 7-2 after two.

The teams faced off three times in January. The Maroons won all three by a combined score of 29-6.


On Saturday, Lambton Shores Predators hosted Leamington Flyers.  The Flyers pulled out a 6-3 win over the Preds.

Brent Hammett opened the scoring 1:58 into the game to give the Preds a 1-0 lead.  At 9:06, Flyer Chris Scott was sidelined for tripping and on the penalty kill, Mitch Amante would tie the game up with a shorthanded goal.  Just 1 minute later, Lambton Shores would get the shorty back when Ryan Fraser popped the puck in the net for a 2-1 Predators lead.  While on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Matthew Opblinger would tie the game for Leamington again.  With just over a minute left in the first period, Eric Henderson would score on the power play to make it a 3-2 Flyers game.

In the 2nd period, the loan goal was scored by Flyer Joe Ogden.  In the 3rd period, Alex Friesen would add to the Flyers lead and make it 5-2.  But the Predators don’t quit and Nick Sproviero cut their lead to 5-3.  Flyer Cale Phibbs sealed the victory at 12:40 to make it 6-3.

It appears to have gotten a little rough in the 3rd period.  There was a fight at 9:32 between Predator Austin Fetterly and Flyer Alex Friesen.  After the fight, 6 seconds later, Flyer Thomas Virban received a failure to go to bench misconduct.  At 11:20, Preds Trevor Waller and Hammett both received failure to go to bench misconducts.  At the end of the game, Hammett received a playing without a helmet gross as did Opblinger from Leamington.

Flyers goalie was Trevor Wheaton making 38 of 41 saves.  His counterpart, Anthony Hurtubise stopped 38 of 44 shots for the Predators.


The last game of the weekend, which is odd to say for Sat., was Strathroy hosting their rivals Sarnia Legionnaires.  In my opinion, the Rockets put forth a lackluster effort in the first period and Sarnia capitalized.  The effort was a little better in the second and third periods, but the damage was already done.  Sarnia won the game 4-1.  Story from Lambton Shield.

Sarnia Legionnaires beat Strathroy Rockets

4-1 win has Legionnaires improving record to 27-14-1

By Dan McCaffery


STRATHROY – Ryan Vendramin led the Sarnia Legionnaires to a 4-1 win over the Strathroy Rockets Saturday.

With the win, the Sarnians improved their record to 27-14-1. And that leaves them in third place in the Western Jr. ‘B’ hockey standings, three points ahead of fourth ranked LaSalle and three behind second place Chatham.

Vendramin exploded for two goals and an assist in the first period to put the visitors ahead 3-0 going into the intermission.

He now has 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points in just 30 games.

“Vendy’s a smart player,” head coach Dan Rose commented afterward.

He also had praise for Vendramin’s linemates, Jordan Fogarty and Brandon Layman.

Fogarty, who has been on fire of late, collected a goal and an assist, giving him 11 points in his last five games.

Laymen, a defensive forward, set up two goals, bringing his points total to 17.

Rose said his team forechecked hard all night.

“The boys played really well,” he said. “They bounced back (from a poor performance two nights earlier against LaSalle). “The boys had a meeting before the game” to discuss ways to improve their game.

Cody Trowell had Sarnia’s other tally, giving him a team-leading total of 30.

Davis Boyer had Sarnia’s other assist.

Nick Boyer spoiled goalie Andrew Masters’ shutout bid, scoring the lone Strathroy goal.

The Rockets outshot Sarnia 41-39.

The Legionnaires return to action next Thursday when they host the London Nationals.

Game time at the Brock Street barn is set for 7:10 p.m.


Here are your standings heading into the final 3 weeks of play.


Leamington 43 34 7 2 70 .814 176 107 969 20-2-0 14-5-2
Chatham 41 28 11 2 58 .707 205 135 762 15-6-1 13-5-1
Sarnia 42 27 14 1 55 .655 191 160 802 16-5-0 11-9-1
LaSalle 43 26 17 0 52 .605 184 147 928 15-7-0 11-10-0
Strathroy 42 21 19 2 44 .524 158 139 784 13-8-1 8-11-1
London 42 19 20 3 41 .488 140 136 795 12-6-2 7-14-1
St. Thomas 42 18 19 5 41 .488 133 142 606 11-9-1 7-10-4
Lambton Shores 43 13 27 3 29 .337 139 209 978 9-11-1 4-16-2
St. Marys 43 2 37 4 8 .093 74 229 705 2-18-2 0-19-2




There are teams that are clicking right now, which is the right time, and there are some that appear to have decided to fall apart and that’s not what you want heading into play-offs.


Coming up this week

Wednesday, February 4

LaSalle Vipers vs. Chatham Maroons – 7:00 Vollmer Rec Centre

London Nationals vs. Strathroy Rockets – 7:30 Western Fair

Thursday, February 5

Leamington Flyers vs. Lambton Shores Predators – 7:10 Heinz Arena

Sarnia Legionnaires vs. London Nationals – 7:10 Sarnia Arena


You can’t go wrong with any of these games this week.  As I said a month ago, every team is looking to get as many points as possible to put themselves in the best position for play-offs.  At this time of year, you should see teams playing their best hockey.

I’ll see you on Wed. for another player profile.

You all know that I am a die-hard Rockets fan, but I am also a die-hard GOJHL fan, having been watching Jr. B hockey since I was 10 years old. I will only watch the GOJHL and during the hockey season, you never know what arena RG is gonna show up at. I'm bringing you the games, news, and updates of the GOJHL. RG is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheRocketGirl16 and you can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheRocketGirl16 If you hear of anything about any of the teams in the GOJHL, or have questions about anything, feel free to post it. If I don't know the answer, I know how to find it.

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